- Provenance information is currently unavailable
Clay: fine white porcelain.
Glaze: plain, transparent.
Decoration: in underglaze cobalt blue with "the three friends" in center inside, garden scene with figures outside.
Six-character Ch'eng-hua mark in blue on base.
One of a pair with F1951.10-51.11. (The dishes can be called a pair in the sense that they came into the collection together, but this does not imply they were made or fired as a pair).
Six-character Ch'eng-hua mark in blue on base
To some connoisseurs, the Chenghua reign (1465-87) marks the ultimate stage in the development of Chinese blue-and-white, in which technical perfection is matched by great refinement in taste. The best Chenghua examples are remarkable for their delicacy, luminosity, and sensitive drawing. A six-character mark confirms the Chenghua date on this dish.
The interior is painted with a motif known as the "three friends of winter" (pine, plum, and bamboo) and also a garden rock and fungus of immortality appear. The design is both a wish for longevity and also carries poetic and scholarly connotations. The exterior is decorated with women in a garden setting with two constellations pictured overhead. These are the Herdboy (Aquila) and Weaving Maiden (Vega) stars that cross the Milky Way and meet on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, the Double Seventh Festival in China. In antiquity, this was a major celebration for lovers. Women made special displays of brocade, prepared vegetarian feasts, and burned incense while they prayed for divine instructions, especially for improvement of needlework.
This dish can be compared to another in the collection, F1951.11.
- Published References
- Hai wai i chen [Chinese Art in Overseas Collections]. Taipei, 1985. vol. 3: p. 25.
- Ming Porcelains in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1953. p. 23, fig. 17.
- Ann Frank. Chinese Blue and White. New York. p. 33.
- Maggie Bickford. Bones of Jade, Soul of Ice: The Flowering Plum in Chinese Art. Exh. cat. New Yaven, Connecticut. p. 212.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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